My website is a directory with an extensive URL structure with several location-based tiers followed by an establishment name.
This seems to work for the search engines but it throws up a range of problems that I would like to fix. The above link would 301 redirect to this:
That way, if an establishment changes it's name or the political boundaries change, it can still be found and a canonical href will be used. This will cover establishments appearing in multiple categories, in much the same way Ashoka found out here: here
I should note, the results pages have the same URL structure and I do not intend to change that.
From what I see, Google isn't displaying sitelinks relating to this structure. The question is, will Google throw a strop if I remove the locational hierarchy from establishment URLs? I have received conflicting advice on how to handle this change, hence throwing it out for community opinion.